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“He gets exposed…” – Gary Neville admits he got Man United vs Burnley prediction wrong



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Credit: Sky Sports

Gary Neville has admitted that he had worries about how Jonny Evans would fare in Manchester United’s clash against Burnley on the weekend.

Erik ten Hag was forced into bringing the 35-year-old defender into his starting lineup at Turf Moor after Lisandro Martinez suffered an injury and Raphael Varane was not fit to start the game.

Evans had not played a competitive fixture for United since 2015, and his last game for his prior club Leicester City was back in May.

There were worries amongst the fanbase that Evans would not be prepared for the physical nature of the game, but the defender ended as the Man of the Match – after Bruno Fernandes gifted him the award.

The Northern Irish defender saw a headed goal disallowed towards the start of the game before assisting Fernandes’ eventual winner with a pinpoint lobbed pass over the top of the Burnley defence.

He was defensively solid throughout the game and Neville, who retired in 2011, has admitted that he had ‘fears’ about how it would go before the game.

“At the end of my career at Man United, I had a couple of games where people got past me and I got isolated,” he explained on his Sky Sports podcast. “I thought this could be a game tonight that finishes Jonny.

“Those Burnley bright forwards all of a sudden get at him and he gets exposed. So I was absolutely delighted with how the game went for him.

“Thought he’d scored the goal and then obviously he sets up the lovely pass to Bruno Fernandes who [produced] a brilliant finish. Really special moment in the game for United, it was a great goal.

“I was happy for Jonny Evans because I had some fear before the game about how it would go. People wouldn’t have known that but that’s how I felt.”

It was a belated 200th appearance for the Old Trafford club as Evans made a surprise return this season due to the lack of depth in the defence.

The defender emotionally said that it was “one of the best days of my life” and is eager to continue helping United as they look to turn a corner following a poor spell of form.